Market Drayton farm signs up to mental health charter

A Market Drayton organic farm is among the companies committing to doing whatever it can for its employees' mental health, more important now during a pandemic than ever before.

Michael Lloyd of Market Drayton has set up a 'Mental Health Charter', designed for businesses to sign to show commitment to mental health awareness within the workplace.

Among the signatories is Fordhall Organic Farm, based just outside Market Drayton. It is community-owned and managed by the Hollins family, who have looked after the farm for hundreds of years.

Charlotte Hollins, manager of the Fordhall Community Land Initiative, said: "Mental health in the workplace is vital at all times and never has it been more apparent than over the last 12 months. Covid-19 has hit everyone hard, workplaces have been turned upside down and we have all had to react quickly to ongoing change.

"We know that we could not have achieved everything that we have at Fordhall without our wonderfully committed and supportive staff team.

"It is only right and fair that as an organisation we offer the same support and commitment back to them.

"To us, this is as much about mental health as it is about training and other investment.

Michael Lloyd and Charlotte Hollins

"One of our five Fordhall values is 'Gather the Flock'. This is about being inclusive, accepting of each others' differences, compassionate and understanding. We believe it is just as vital to be doing this within our team, as well as with our customers and visitors.

"If people are not happy in their lives and in their work, quite simply, nothing works and everyone loses out. Being part of the Mental Health Charter makes sure we put this at the forefront of our practices, and we hope it encourages our staff to step forward if there is anything they are struggling with.

"We are all on this journey together."

The charter offers businesses awareness and support resources, and plans to hold awards for the companies that prove their commitment to their employees' wellbeing.

Founder Michael Lloyd said: "I am so pleased and overwhelmed that Shropshire businesses are leading the way to mental health awareness within the workplace, and we already have Shropshire businesses like SWG Construction Group, SJ Roberts Construction, Hi Style Salon and Fordhall Farm who have joined and signed the Mental Health Charter along with many more within Shropshire.

"We are receiving daily contact from Shropshire businesses wanting to pledge their support to mental health awareness amongst their employees."

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